As I have picked my chosen decade of the 80’s for my Technology Context module, I feel that it is necessary to research the decade as a whole in order to understand what were my chosen artist (Alan Moore) and photographer’s (Johnny Stiletto) influences of their work during the time it was being produced. For this post, I will be looking in the different events not only in their field of work, but also the events of the time. I hope that this will aid me as it will give me a further understanding of what it was like to live in the 80’s.
The 1980’s was a time of great social, economic and cultural change. Gone was the care-free idea from its previous decade (70’s), as many were unsure about how such changes would effect not only the future but also people’s view of the time as a whole. It was also during this time that there were great international wars such as the Cold War, along with prominent political events such as the Reagan Administration which accelerated the War on Drugs in which it was shown that the seriousness of drugs turned even the so-called safest of cities were turned in war-zones. Another prominent event of this decade, particularly here in the United Kingdom, was the reigning of the Conservative party as government which was ruled under Margaret Thatcher; who was the first female leader. The conservative party introduced a wide range of reforms such as the privatization of industries along with de-regulation of stock markets which was, at the time very similar to President Reagan’s reforms. There was also more Liberace for women in the work place and no longer was it a necessity to take on their husbands last names as they had an option to keep their own. It was also during the 1980’s that the HIV/Aids pandemic began.
Possibly the most well known devastation of the 1980’s would be that of the Chernobyl disaster back in 1986; which consisted of a large nuclear disaster that eventually contributed to a large scale radioactivity spreading across Europe. There was also a global recession that affected the world considerably.
It was also during the 80’s that there was quite a large boom of technology that was being produced at this time. Arcade games had become far more popular during this time, having Nintendo release their console in 1983. There was also a rise in sales for home-computers, and then later becoming a fully functional industry.
MTV was launched and so began the “music video” craze among artists such as Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson; along with having a prominent effect on the record industry as a whole. Jackson also released his album “Thriller”, which became the best-selling album of all time; the video has also remained apart of pop-culture for its imaginative direction. There was also a high rising of such sub-genres in music such as Glam Rock and Hip Hop.
The film industry became a large part of the entertainment industry, as films that have been dubbed “Classics” such as Aliens, E.T. and the Brat Pack films were produced during this time. Special effects had also vastly improved during the 1980’s and so were used more efficiently and accurately in the film industry. T.V. during the 1980s was also a large aspect of this industry as such sitcoms like Seinfeld and the Cosby show, along with american soap-operas and dramas like Dallas and Dynasty were among some of the highest rating shows during this decade.
The 1980’s was highly influential in the fashion industry. The decade embarked the rise of the New Romantic movement and the heavy metal look. Outfits that included shoulder pads and leather pants were essential for those who wanted to look stylish at the time. It was also the rise of the “Super-Model” during this era, as models such as Cindy Crawford were catapulted in to the mainstream.
Overall, I feel that looking in to the 1980’s as we whole has really helped me in understanding what exactly was prominent during this time. I feel that this has helped me gain and understanding to what I want to include in my presentation as well.